How to Pick a Nursing College near Kootenai Idaho
Searching for the best nursing program near Kootenai ID may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Kootenai ID hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Kootenai ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Idaho board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Kootenai ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Kootenai ID or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Idaho and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Kootenai ID for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Idaho school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Kootenai ID healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Kootenai ID medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Kootenai ID hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many Kootenai ID students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Kootenai ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Kootenai Idaho area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kootenai County, Idaho
Kootenai County (/ˈkuːtniː/ KOOT-nee) is a county located in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 138,494, making it the third-most populous county in Idaho. The county seat and largest city is Coeur d'Alene. The county was established in 1864 and named after the Kootenai tribe.
The Coeur d'Alene region takes its name from that given the local natives by French fur trappers. The tribe initially consisted of three bands that inhabited the areas surrounding Coeur d'Alene Lake and the Coeur d'Alene River. Canadian fur trade came to the region starting in 1809, marking the tribe's first contact with Europeans. Christian missionaries would follow with the first Christian meeting officiated by Father Nicolas Pointe on the north bank of Coeur d'Alene Lake at its junction with the Spokane River on December 2, 1842. The St. Joseph mission was initially established northwest of St. Maries in 1844 before being renamed Mission of the Sacred Heart at its relocation to the Cataldo site in 1846. Construction of Idaho's oldest structure commenced with construction of the mission church being completed by 1855. The mission headquarters was moved to DeSmet in 1877.
The Mullan Road was constructed through the area in 1859 with the route originally running on the southern side of Coeur d'Alene Lake. A route on the northern side of Coeur D'Alene Lake commenced in 1861. Mullan's men celebrated Independence Day of 1861 at Fourth of July Canyon east of Coeur d'Alene.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Kootenai ID
Selecting the right registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Kootenai ID.
More Awesome Locations in Idaho